Grant Raymond, Chicago Firefighter, U.S. Marine, “Former Genius”

Grant Adam Raymond left us for the spirit world December 8, 2019 after battling brain cancer, and after cheating death in dozens of sensational endeavors throughout his life and across the globe.

He said we shouldn’t be sad that he wasn’t around longer than 47 years since each day for him was packed with more living than ‘normal’ people. Writing an obituary for him even seems too ordinary an undertaking to sum up his extraordinary life.

Grant was a U.S. Marine, serving first at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and later in the 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, N.C. He was a machine gunner there with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines when he deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania and Croatia as the combat element for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Grant was a three-time rifle and pistol expert. He earned more than a dozen medals including the Humanitarian Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the National Defense Medal, the Coast Guard Special Forces Medal and multiple Meritorious Unit Commendations.

Grant was a Lieutenant and 20-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. He was an original member of the Young Bucks, a member of Heavy Rescue Squad 1 and ‘the best firefighter I’ve seen’ according to one of his brothers.

His eccentricities aside – although he would hate the word “eccentricities” and would come up with a new, better one (that was not in the dictionary but should be) — he was unflinchingly generous. He would give away all he had and then find a way to give away more; he was loyal – would jump into a fight to protect his friends even when his friends were being idiots; he was a horrible dancer and yet, somehow, the best dancer in the room.

He was perpetually joyful, and his joy was infectious.

Not only was he certain he was the smartest person you’ll ever meet, he also claimed he was the strongest – if you don’t believe it, he’ll arm wrestle you next time you meet, for a small wager.

Truthfully though, anyone who had the chance to get to know Grant recognized – he was in fact, the strongest guy they’ll ever know.

Grant was preceded in death by his father, Douglas and brother Quinn. He is survived by his wife Nia (Willis), mother Diana (Cunningham), mother-in-law Trish (Cooper), daughter Helena (Czesak), brother Max, sisters Dana (Sargent) and Elissa, brothers-in-law, Christopher (Sargent) and Christopher (Tucker), nieces Giselle and Solenne (Sargent) and nephews Cadillac and Salvador (Tucker), along with numerous cousins, aunts and uncles, military and firefighter brothers and sisters and countless friends around the world.

Grant wanted us to celebrate his life with a party and he would remind everyone to stay off the ‘evilnet’ and have fun – ‘cuz Armageddon is just around the corner.

A wake will be held Saturday, December 14 at Lakeview Funeral Home, 1458 W. Belmont Ave. Chicago from 4 pm – 9 pm, with the party following, with Grant in attendance, at Iron Horse Ale House, 6158 N. Northwest Hwy, Chicago.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in Grant’s name to Dogs on Deployment.

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